I believe South India has got lots of variety of chutneys and they taste amazing. I remember eating this chutney on a train journey from Chennai to Bhopal. Sid and I had visited Chennai to attend a friend’s wedding. We were running so late that we had to skip lunch and catch the train. Our friend Ajay’s mother sent us a jar full of this tomato chutney and a loaf of bread so that we had something to eat on the long journey. Once the train started first thing we did was that we started eating. Not having plates, we were just eating it out of the jar. Before the train had left Chennai, we both had already finished the chutney and the bread.
This trip was very memorable as we were married 6 months ago. The train was empty and Sid was trying to get us an upgrade  to First A.C; he thought that the journey would be more comfortable.
Sid went to speak to the T.C. to upgrade us. Sid was in his cargo shorts and T Shirt and I was in my traveling pants and T shirt and we were traveling with our rucksacks.They thought that we were some college students. The T.C. and the helper stared at us and then looked at each other. Then they took Sid on the side and said “Let”s strike a deal. Why don’t we give you the first class cabin on hourly basis?”
Sid just came back refusing. Meanwhile I had packed all of our stuff and was waiting for an upgrade, not knowing the whole story. I kept on asking Sid in front of the helper. I said,  “chalo when are we going to first class?” and then Sid said, “ Leave it we are not going.” Again I aked “why?” I sometimes get very hyper and fail to notice Sid eye’s expression that he was telling me to shut up. Then the helper told Sid, “kya saab ab toh ladki bhi bol rahi hai, chalo for you we will reduce the price” Oh my God!!! I got so embarrassed. Once Sid got rid of him, we could not stop laughing. Then during the whole journey whenever Sid went to smoke near the door, the helper would come up with some new discount offer for the hourly rate. What a comedy incident!! Well for all these reasons, I love traveling in India. We have repeated this story to so many people and every time we have laughed so much !

I have adapted this recipe from Tarla Dalal. This is a special request from my sister Salonee. I usually make this chutney and store it in the fridge; We have it at breakfast with our idlis.




2 tsp coconut oil/ any other vegetable oil
1 tsp channa dal (bengal gram dal)
1 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
6-7 curry leaves
2 dry Kashmiri mirchi
½ chopped onion
2 tomatoes chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For tempering:

2 tsp coconut oil/ any other vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry kashmiri mirchi
3-4 curry leaves
Pinch of hing (asafoetida)

Heat the oil in a non stick pan, add the channa dal, urad dal and sauté on a medium flame till they turn pink, and keep stirring continuously. Add the curry leaves, red chilies and stir for few seconds. Add the onions, keep stirring and cook till they are light brown in color.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, and sauté on a medium flame till oil separates.
Turn off the gas and let it cool. Once cool blend in the mixer into a coarse paste.
Now temper the chutney by heating the oil, adding mustard seeds and hing. Once the seeds splutter, add the kashmiri mirchi and curry leaves and pour over the tomato chutney.

This chutney is a good accompaniment with idles, dosas, appams etc.



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